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Gateway to the Pain: Sporting KC dominated by St. Louis City SC 4-0

St. Louis City SC puts on a dominating performance at home in the first rivalry match, dismantling Sporting KC with a 4-0 victory.



Thad Bell

Any recent semblance of goodwill and excitement from Sporting Kansas City fans dissipated like air leaving a balloon Saturday evening, as Sporting KC were battered by new regional rivals St. Louis City SC 4-0.

Indiana Vassilev supplied a brace for St. Louis while Eduard Löwen and Nicholas Gioacchini each put in one of their own as part of the dominating performance.

The first fifteen minutes were, more or less, even, with both teams committing to a back-and-forth match, both teams nibbling at the edge of a chance. Sporting KC keeper McIntosh was first tested in the fifth when Jared Stroud advanced into the box and moved into the center of the area, getting off a good shot on goal but McIntosh made a diving save to keep St. Louis out of the goal.

In the 14th minute, Pulido was responsible for Sporting KC’s first real chance of the night, rocketing a rebound toward goal which required a diving stop from Roman Burki.

But it was St. Louis who broke through. In the 17th minute, Nemanja Radoja brought down Vassilev near the penalty spot, earning St. Louis City a penalty. Lowen sent McIntosh the wrong way on the ensuing penalty kick, giving the home side a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. It was Lowen’s second goal of the season.

It got worse from there for Sporting KC. Following a tackle which won the ball from Gadi Kinda in Sporting’s defensive half, Stroud sent it over to Vassilev, who had space just inside the box, beat Zusi and sent a low ball past McIntosh into the net for St. Louis’s second goal of the evening.

Peter Vermes made two subs at the start of the second half, bringing on Eric Thommy for Gadi Kinda and Logan Ndenbe for Tim Leibold. With some fresh legs, Sporting KC started the second half with a bit momentum, creating a couple of chances trying to pull one back. In the 51st minute, Johnny Russell was responsible for Sporting KC’s best chance of the match at that point, receiving a cross and from Ndenbe and winning the ball ten yards out for a strong header on goal, but Burki was there to make the leaping save, keeping Sporting KC scoreless.

The home side then ended all momentum with their third goal of the evening. A long ball from Burki found Stroud and Gioacchini playing a high line right on top of the Sporting KC defense. Stroud touched the ball over the Gioacchini in the attacking half and he was all alone behind the back line, finishing the score with a chip over McIntosh to make 3-0 St. Louis.

Sporting KC’s next best chance at a goal came in the 73rd minute with Alan Pulido bringing the ball into the box from the the far side, finding space to give the ball to Russell streaking in. Russell’s shot from 15 yards out, however, was met with a diving save from Burki

The away side would be punished once again for trying to score, just a minute later. Tomás Ostrák won a ball from Radoja in the defensive half then began a breakaway for St. Louis. Ostrák took the ball all the way to the box where he then handed it off to Vassilev, who found the far post for his second goal of the evening.

Sporting had several chances in succession to at least put one goal on the books, but the 84th minute, but both Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi had prime shots blocked by Burki, ensuring the clean sheet for St. Louis.


The final whistle mercifully blew after three minutes of stoppage, giving St. Louis the 4-0 win in the first match of this new rivalry. Sporting KC returns home next week to take on the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

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